Natalie Meisner's Double Pregnant

by Shaun Hunter


Calgary Through the Eyes of Writers

Memorable encounters on Calgary's Stephen Avenue, this one at First Street East where Milestone's now stands.  (Photo: Calgary Public Library Community Heritage & Family History Collection)

Memorable encounters on Calgary's Stephen Avenue, this one at First Street East where Milestone's now stands.  (Photo: Calgary Public Library Community Heritage & Family History Collection)

Natalie Meisner and her wife Viviën have decided to start a family. Now, they need to find some sperm. One of their first meetings with potential donors takes place at a tapas restaurant on Stephen Avenue. On paper, Natalie and Viviën have everything in common with this gay couple from Vancouver – travel, cooking, sports, culture. But when they meet them outside the restaurant, Natalie is taken by surprise.

 

As we are introducing ourselves in a four-square formation, I can feel them craning their necks to look up at Viviën, and I register her own surprise as she looks down.

Height alone is no reason to count them out. There’s no call to go discriminating against the less-tall of the world. And besides, height isn’t always passed down biologically, is it? And even if it is, so what? Have we let our overactive imaginations about our future daughter or son the basketball star run away with us? Are we height bigots? I already feel that a wholesale interrogation of my heretofore unexamined prejudice against the vertically challenged is in order when suddenly I am rescued.

These two cannot be our donors, it becomes clear before the appetizers arrive, and it has nothing to do with their height. It isn’t their shortness that disqualifies this couple. No, it is the foodie blogger treatise we are bludgeoned with on the art of the vinaigrette before the menus come. It is the rehearsal of each and every entry for each and every restaurant the slightly taller one wrote in the past six months. The excoriation he gave the Italian restaurant for serving herb-infused bread. The wrath he has for the new French place on Fourth that served something they call a pissaladière when it was clearly a tourtière. And on and on.

 

Natalie Meisner, Double Pregnant: Two Lesbians Make a Family (Halifax: Fernwood Publishing, 2014)